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    Toxoplasma gondii is a parasitic protist infecting a wide group of warm-blooded animals, ranging from birds to humans. While this infection is usually asymptomatic in healthy individuals, it can also lead to severe ocular or neurological outcomes in immunocompromised individuals or in developing fetuses. This obligate intracellular parasite has the ability to infect a considerable range of nucleated cells and can propagate in the intermediate host. Yet, under the pressure of the immune system it transforms into an encysted persistent form residing primarily in the brain and muscle tissues. Encysted parasites, which are resistant to current medication, may reactivate and give rise to an acute infection. The clinical outcome of toxoplasmosis depends on a complex balance between the host immune response and parasite virulence factors. Susceptibility to the disease is thus determined by both parasite strains and host species. Recent advances on our understanding of host cell-parasite interactions and parasite virulence have brought new insights into the pathophysiology of T. gondii infection and are summarized here.

    Citation

    Syrian G Sanchez, S├ębastien Besteiro. The pathogenicity and virulence of Toxoplasma gondii. Virulence. 2021 Dec;12(1):3095-3114

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    PMID: 34895084

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